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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Beginning XML (Programmer to Programmer)
Publisher: Wrox
Authors: David Hunter, Andrew Watt, Jeff Rafter, Kurt Cagle, Jon Duckett, Bill Patterson
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Excellent straightforward way to learn XML from scratch

Having read quite a few XML books from Wrox (5-6), I think that this book will be able to touch the biggest audience. It contains a very good approach to learn about XML well-formed documents, CSS for XML, XSL(T), DTD, and it also have some nice Case-Studies that goes along. Hey, you even have an introduction to ASP and another one for HTML; for those of you new to the Internet.
Most of the XML books (straight one, not XML for VB for example) contains the same TOC but this one has the best approach so far.
If you are new to XML, take this one.
If you know a bit of XML (and PROGRAMMED it), you can take the Professional XML which will go a little bit more in depth (not that much)
If you know what you are doing with XML and wants to learn more about XSLT, get the XSLT Programmer's Reference(great book) from Wrox.
If you want a very good Case-Study, take the Professional XML Design and Implementation (also good).
Then you are off with ASP XML, VB XML, or Java XML.
Happy XML hunting.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Linux(R) Quick Fix Notebook (Bruce Perens Open Source)
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Peter Harrison
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
This book should get lots of wear and tear over time...

If you're a Linux administrator who is constantly looking for that practical example or write-up on how to do a specific task, Peter Harrison's Linux Quick Fix Notebook (Prentice Hall) is probably what you're looking for...

Chapter List:
Part 1 - The Linux File Server Project: Why Host Your Own Site?; Introduction To Networking; Linux Networking; Simple Network Troubleshooting; Troubleshooting Linux With syslog; Installing RPM Software; The Linux Boot Process; Configuring The DHCP Server; Linux Users And sudo; Windows, Linux, And Samba; Sharing Resources With Samba; Samba Security And Troubleshooting; Linux Wireless Networking
Part 2 - The Linux Web Site Project: Linux Firewalls Using iptables; Linux FTP Server Setup; Telnet, TFTP, And xinetd; Secure Remote Logins And File Copying; Configuring DNS; Dynamic DNS; The Apache Web Server; Configuring Linux Mail Servers; Monitoring Server Performance; Advanced MRTG For Linux; The NTP Server
Part 3 - Advanced Topics: Network-Based Linux Installation; Linux Software RAID; Expanding Disk Capacity; Managing Disk Usage With Quotas; Remote Disk Access With NFS; Centralized Logins Using NIS; Centralized Logins Using LDAP And RADIUS; Controlling Web Access With Squid; Modifying The Linux Kernel To Improve Performance; Basic MySQL Configuration; Configuring Linux VPNs
Appendices: Miscellaneous Linux Topics; Codes, Scripts, And Configurations; Fedora Version Differences; syslog Configuration And Cisco Devices; Index

Harrison does a great job in hitting the target audience. He is writing to "proficient beginners, students, and IT professionals" who understand the theory but need a little nudge on the command formatting. As a result, there's less emphasis on explaining a lot of "why" material so that he can devote more time and space to the "how to" material. I must say he definitely nails that mark. He also spends a lot of time on troubleshooting issues (Samba, network connectivity, etc) because that's where the average reader is going to be floundering if they don't know the answer. By having a concise volume that covers the major areas of concern, you should be able to either quickly fix the problem or rule out a number of potential issues. Practicality rules in this book...

He also avoids the "which version of Linux are you on" issue by concentrating on the command line interface. The material you'll learn here is applicable to all versions of Linux, because he doesn't work with any graphical interfaces which may or may not have an equivalent in all Linux distributions. So while there might be easier ways to do some of the tasks listed here, you won't be locked out from any of them due to picking the "wrong" distribution.

A very good practical book for Linux admins, and one that should get lots of wear and tear...

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Advanced DBA Certification Guide and Reference for DB2 UDB v8 for Linux, Unix and Windows
Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR
Authors: Dwaine R. Snow, Thomas Xuan Phan, Dwaine Snow
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great Reference, Great Info

I've come to rely on this book for all my day to day DBA activities. It has the explanations, illustrations, and sample programs like the User Exit program needed to make it an invaluable reference. I recommend this book for all DBA's wanting a better understanding of how DB2 works.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Network+ Study Guide, 4th Edition
Publisher: Sybex Inc
Authors: David Groth, Toby Skandier
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
Great text, but it's probably overkill for passing Net+

The text itself is excellent, but the Net+ exam is so pathetically easy that if you know anything about the internet and tcp/ip, you could probably pass the test without ever opening a book. In fact, I have never heard of a person who has failed. If you have any kind of networking experience, I'd take one of the free practice tests that can be found online. If you consistently get 80% or above, you can probably just go ahead and take the test. I used this book and studied for about 2 1/2 weeks, and I really didnt' learn anything new. I easily passed with a 873/900. However, if you have virtually no experience with networking, this is an excellent text to get.
The only thing I'd be aware of is that this book is very Windows-oriented, so it kind of skims over AppleTalk, Netware and even Unix. However, there is sufficient information on each of those topics to pass.
Again, the Net+ exam is ridiculously easy...so don't dump $40+ on a book if you don't have to.